Financial Management for Property Owners: Budgeting, Record Keeping and Tax

Find out how to budget, keep records, and meet tax obligations with ease on Rentbetter.

Congratulations, you’ve just purchasd a property as an investment! Now comes the fun part; managing your finances to ensure your investments make returns. There’s a lot to track, from expenses like maintenance and utilities to repayments, income, and taxes – the list seems endless. However, with the right approach, it’s more than manageable! 

As June 30 is fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to think about tax considerations for your property. This article will guide you through budgeting, record keeping, and other financial management tips that property owners need to know, so you can confidently tackle your taxes. Let’s get started! 

Why You Need to Stay on Top of Your Property's Finances

Financial management is essential for property owners, as it helps them maintain financial stability and create long-term wealth. Here are some reasons why good financial property management is essential for property owners:

Risk Reduction

Sound financial management helps property owners mitigate risks associated with their investments. You can identify potential financial pitfalls and take appropriate measures to address them by closely monitoring your income and expenses.

Planning for future investments

You can use effective financial management to plan for future investment opportunities. By analysing your cash flow, assessing market conditions, and evaluating potential returns, you can identify areas for expansion or diversification. 

Profit generation

The ultimate goal of property ownership is to generate a profit. Through diligent financial management, you can optimise your rental income, minimise expenses, and maximise your return on investment. 

Compliance with financial obligations

Proper financial management ensures you fulfil your financial obligations, including tax payments, mortgage repayments, insurance premiums, and utility bills. By staying on top of these commitments, you can avoid penalties, maintain good relationships with lenders, and protect your assets. 

Improved decision-making

Sound financial management also boosts your ability to make informed decisions about the future of your investment. You can make better decisions about potential investments and other significant expenditures by understanding your financial situation.

Ultimately, effective financial management is essential for successful property ownership. With the right approach, you can ensure that your real estate investments are profitable and secure, so enjoy all the benefits of property ownership. 

Budgeting for Property Expenses

As a property owner, budgeting is essential for managing your finances and ensuring your investments are profitable. It’s important to keep track of your income and expenses to determine how much you can afford to invest in the property. 

Here's how you can budget for your property expenses and make sure you always have enough funds for them:

Identify and categorise all of your property expenses

Begin by creating a comprehensive list of all the expenses associated with your property. This includes recurring expenses (e.g., property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, property management fees) and variable expenses (e.g., repairs, maintenance, landscaping, tenant vacancies).

Categorising these expenses will help you understand the different cost components of your property and ensure that you consider all aspects of your budget.

💡 RentBetter makes it easy to categorise expenses, track maintenance, manage tenant bills and generate reports. Find out more here.

Estimate the cost of repairs, improvements, and maintenance for the upcoming year

Consider factors such as the property's age, the condition of appliances and systems, and any known issues. Research the costs associated with these tasks or consult professionals for accurate estimates. This will allow you to allocate funds accordingly and plan for these expenses.

Allocate funds to cover unexpected expenses and emergency repairs

It's essential to have a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses and emergency repairs. These can include sudden repairs due to unforeseen damages or unexpected vacancies that require additional marketing efforts. It is generally recommended to set aside a percentage of your rental income each month into a separate account designated for emergencies.

Consider cost reduction strategies

Reducing costs can help you manage your property expenses more efficiently. Look for opportunities to streamline operations and reduce unnecessary expenses like property management fees.

Budgeting for property expenses is an ongoing process. As circumstances change, such as market conditions or property-related factors, you must reassess and update your budget accordingly. By implementing a diligent budgeting strategy, you can ensure that you always have enough funds to cover your property expenses and maintain financial stability in your real estate ventures.

Read more - Ready to break up with your agent?

How to track your income and expenses

Monitoring your rental income and expenses can help you make smarter decisions for your real estate investments. Some key benefits of tracking rental income and expenses include improved cash flow, better and more informed decisions, and various tax advantages.

You can also identify potential savings or investment opportunities with accurate financial records. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to effectively track your property's income and expenses:

Establish a system and stick to it

Decide on the best bookkeeping or accounting system for your needs and use it consistently. This helps ensure that all your records are up-to-date and accurate.

Document and save all expenses

Keep track of any property repairs, upgrades, or other expenses and save the receipts for tax purposes.

Monitor rental income

Track all rental payments received from your tenants and make sure all payments are accounted for. This will help you stay on top of tenant payments and minimise potential losses.

Review your records regularly 

Make it a habit to review your rental income and expenses regularly. By doing so, you can make sure all your records are accurate and up-to-date.

Make use of technology

Take advantage of mobile and cloud-based property management solutions (like RentBetter) to help you manage your finances in real time. This can save you time and hassle, allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. 

You can maximise the return on your real estate investments by keeping track of your rental income and expenses. With accurate records, you can make informed decisions to help you reach your financial goals. Investing in a reliable tracking system is well worth it – an investment that instantly pays off!

Register for a demo of the RentBetter platform today and see how you can manage your property and expenses.

Understanding Your Tax Obligations

As a property owner, there are also several important tax considerations that you should be aware of. Understanding these tax obligations can help you manage your property investment effectively and maximise your financial returns. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Rental Income

Rental income generated from your property is generally considered taxable. It is important to declare this income on your tax return. This includes rental income from residential, commercial, or holiday rental properties.

Deductible Expenses

You can claim various expenses associated with owning and maintaining your property as deductions to reduce your taxable rental income. These expenses may include property management fees, repairs and maintenance, insurance, council rates, and mortgage interest. It's crucial to keep accurate records and receipts to substantiate your claims.


Depreciation refers to the wear and tear of your property and its assets over time. You can claim depreciation as a tax deduction, including both capitals, work deductions for the building's structure, and plant and equipment deductions for assets within the property, such as appliances and furniture. 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If you sell your property, you may be liable to pay capital gains tax on your profit. The amount of tax depends on the duration of ownership and whether the property is your primary residence or investment property. Special exemptions and concessions may apply, so it's essential to understand the CGT rules and seek professional advice when selling property.

Read more - Top 5 TaxTips for Landlords

Negative Gearing

Negative gearing is when the expenses of owning a property exceed the rental income it generates. This creates a taxable loss that can be offset against your other income, potentially reducing your overall tax liability. Negative gearing can provide tax benefits, but it's important to carefully consider your investment strategy and seek professional advice.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST generally does not apply to residential rental properties. However, if you own commercial or furnished holiday rental properties, GST may be applicable, and you may need to register for GST and report it accordingly.

Filing taxes is a necessary part of being a property owner. It is important to ensure that your paperwork is accurate and up to date, as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) takes filing obligations very seriously. The financial year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June, and individuals and businesses must lodge their tax returns by 31 October of the following year. Failing to do so can result in penalties and fines from the ATO. 

Knowing the rules and regulations can help you save money in the long run and ensure you're on the right side of the law.

Hiring Professional Help

If you're unsure how to manage your finances or comply with tax regulations, it's always best to seek help from a professional. A qualified accountant or financial advisor can assist you in understanding your obligations and explore strategies that may reduce your liability and provide you with peace of mind. They can also provide you with tailored advice on maximising your financial position. 

Here are a few handy tips to use when choosing the right professional:


Look for professionals who specialise in the areas relevant to your needs, such as tax planning, personal finance, small business accounting, or investment management.


Check if the professional holds relevant certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Enrolled Agent (EA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These credentials indicate higher expertise and knowledge in their respective fields.


Seek recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, family members, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with financial professionals. Referrals can provide valuable insights into the professional's reliability and competence.

No matter how complex or straightforward your financial situation may be, enlisting the help of a professional can help you reach your goals. The right advice could save you lots of time, money, and stress in the long run.

💡 Did you know you can get a Tax Depreciation Schedule through RentBetter? Click here for more info.

RentBetter Has Your Back!

Starting with a budget, keeping accurate records, and understanding your tax obligations can make a world of difference. It’s also advised to seek professional advice regularly to ensure you’re making the most of your property investment and to mitigate potential risks. 

With EOFY fast approaching, now is the time to take advantage of RentBetter's services to ensure you maximise your property investment. The best part? If you purchase before June 30, you can take advantage of claiming the cost in the current financial year!

As an experienced provider of advice and resources for savvy property owners, the RentBetter platform can help you stay ahead. Get started now to ensure you're claiming your costs...after all, who wants to miss out on a good deal? With us in your corner, you won't have to.